via ‘Govt must carry out land audit’ October 28, 2013 NewsDay
THE government should carry out a land audit which was abandoned following the end of the unity government in order to save vulnerable groups from imminent hunger, a civil society organisation has said.
In a statement, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiCZ) said it was important for government to carry out an intensive land audit in order to remedy the imminent hunger which the Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZIMVAC) said would affect 2,2 million people next year.
The Global Political Agreement (GPA) which expired following the end of the Government of National Unity (GNU) in July stressed on the need for a land audit for the purposes of establishing land accountability.
“The land audit, which the Ministry of Lands and Rural Settlement did not carry out, among other things that were neglected in the agreement, had been recommended in Article V, which attempted to remedy the food insecurity emanating from Zimbabwe’s land invasions, and “ensure that land is used productively,” read the report.
Article 5.9 (a) of the GPA encouraged government to “conduct a comprehensive, transparent and non-partisan land audit, during the tenure of the Seventh Parliament of Zimbabwe, for the purposes of establishing accountability and eliminating multiple farm ownership.”
CiZC spokesperson Thabani Nyoni said a land audit would bring a lot of issues to light for planning around reviving the agricultural sector.
“One of the things the land audit does is that it does not only reveal who owns what,” Nyoni said.
“It also gauges the level of land underutilisation and what the utilised land is being used for. It also shows what percentage of arable land is allocated to food crop production and what percentage is allocated to cash crop production.”
Nyoni said the information was necessary to inform agricultural policy as it relates to food security policies, arguing that currently there could be “more land owners than farmers” due to the politicised nature of the Zanu-PF-led land grab.